Sent on by
Lindsay Harmon
Send Your Own Message

Dear future generations,

I have spent the last four years of my life educating myself and others on the reality and consequences of anthropogenic climate change. I have taken approximately one class per quarter at my university that was focused on climate change to some extent. I have written countless essays, research papers, elevator pitches, etc. I have lobbied in front of elected officials in favor of stronger environmental and climate policies. I went vegan, cut my shower time in half, and switched to a more efficient vehicle, attempting to use it only when absolutely necessary, in order to reduce my individual footprint. I am 22 years old. And still, I do not represent, not by a long-shot, the youngest or most active climate activists of my generation.

The year I started college, I watched Greta Thunberg plead to world leaders to make a change, lamenting how they had stolen her dreams and her childhood with empty promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I was 19 at the time, she was 16. I cried. Her speech was raw, it was personal, but what was most heartbreaking about it was that it was completely and utterly true. My generation was born into a world in which the negative consequences of climate change were already glaringly obvious, despite being irresponsible for the emissions that caused them. Every summer since I was old enough to drive, I have had to clear ash off of my car before using it. On several occasions over the last few years, I have canceled plans because the air quality index value was above 300. This isn’t normal. And it most certainly isn’t fair.

I have reached an impasse. I feel as though people in power either aren’t listening, or they simply don’t care. After every instance in which progress appears to be being made, someone who seems to not only ignore but publicly invalidate climate science becomes a senator, congressperson, or even the president, washing said progress down the drain with a smug satisfaction that makes me feel physically sick. Older generations look to us to “be the change we wish to see in the world”; all the while putting up barricades to progress that are nearly impossible for us to knock down. Defeatism has crept into the minds of many formerly bright-eyed, headstrong young climate activists.

My hope is that this is not your reality. That when strong research showing how humans have drastically altered the climate is presented to people in power, they take it seriously. That when said climate alteration is shown to be inextricably linked to fossil fuels, those with the political power and money to end our reliance on them do exactly that. That when the masses say that they want this cycle to end, it does.

I will continue to do everything in my power to create a better reality for myself and for you. To put pressure on politicians to create stronger emissions restrictions. To hold corporations, government institutions, military forces, and other massive polluters accountable for their role in the climate crisis. By the time you are old enough to understand what’s happened and perhaps want to create change yourself, you shouldn’t have to. Until then, I leave you with hope.


A tired—but still bright-eyed and headstrong—Gen-Z climate activist

Share on:
Send Your Own Message

More Messages to the Future


Happy 34th birthday my son.

To laugh at our efforts as they were on such a small scale, too small some would say to make a difference, and then smile when we think about the number families just like ours that did the same thing.


Dear Tomorrow,

And, if this summer has taught me anything, I am content (because I have to be) living in this limbo, this seemingly endless waiting for the opportunity to change, when really the opportunity exists within our very selves all along.


Dear Jackson,

I feel deeply that it is my moral obligation as your Mom to protect your future and allow you to inherit a clean and healthy planet.


Dear Tomorrow,

I will do my part to help ensure that there is an Earth left when we are done borrowing it.


Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to pick up trash at every beach I visit 🙂 and to bike for local errands.


Dear Yasmine,

I tried to teach you of the importance of being satisfied with what you had within your hands.


To My Grandchildren,

It’s my hope that the following will be helpful as you navigate your futures.  These are the confessions of a climate activist:


We will look back on our time here and ask, “What did I do?”

If we truly live our present moment, maybe you’ll have a future.


To my unborn children, hey it’s mummy Cris here!

I am witnessing climate change in a way that I do not like, and I do not know how can I stop it.


To my future children,

I am doing everything I can because I want the footprint that I leave behind to be my feet in the sand on a beach and not a carbon one.


To my dear children in the year 2050,

I don’t wish to go backwards, but I do wish we would slow down and design our brave new world with more care.


To the Future Generations,

I look at my baby niece today. The newest member of our family, just 3 days old. What will be left for her and her grandchildren?

View All Messages

Send Your Own Message